Mature students have a lot to offer

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Peter Griffiths from west Wales is studying Adult Nursing at USW. He also works as a student ambassador, so you will meet him at our Open Days.  

Life experience is so important

"I became interested in nursing after looking after and losing both my parents. Each time I was in hospital with them, and especially when I was in the hospice with my mum, I kept wanting to help the nursing staff.

"I applied for the adult nursing degree, was accepted and have never looked back.

"As a mature student I believe I can bring a lot to the nursing profession. I have found that either in university or on placement, being that bit older and with life experience has helped both me and my patients.

"Patients react well to me and are generally impressed that I am a nursing student at my time of life. Being more mature, I find it easy to chat with patients and usually find something in common with them from my life experience.

"Engaging with patients so that they feel that you know and understand what they are going through goes a long way in helping with their treatment and outcomes. Communication is of paramount importance in nursing.

Life as a student nurse

"It is tough at times, both physically and mentally, but it is so rewarding.

"Normal students typically can get up late, have lots of free time, can party all night and enjoy the extremely long holidays to travel and 'find themselves'. Nursing students are a different breed.

"As a student nurse, you have to combine the academic work with the practical side on placements. Long days can be long, 7am starts until 7.30pm, and night shifts. The room for partying and socialising is there, but it has to be managed.

"You deal with patients under many circumstances from births, diagnosis of diseases, treatments, emergencies and deaths. You will deal with the patients and their relatives at times of stress, of anxiety, of sadness, of joy and of hope. What a privilege that is.

Changing careers

"You don’t have to have experience in care to apply for nursing. I qualified as a pharmacist and served in the the army for eight years before training to become a nurse.

"I have been able to utilise many of my skills obtained over the years and this has helped me as a mature student as it clearly demonstrates that skills are transferable.

"Everything I have done has involved people, communication and dealing with various needs, but nothing has been more enlightening and fulfilling as my nurse training."